Kicking off our LGBTI alphabet, ‘A’ is for Asexuality, Adoption, Anal Sex, Ageing, Androgyny, Amyl, ABBA and more.
The first legal adoption of a child by a same-sex couple in this country happened in WA in 2007.
The adoption of children by same-sex couples is still a contentious issue in some states of Australia, but is now legal in the ACT, Western Australia, and New South Wales. And in Tasmania, a same-sex partner can only co-adopt a child when they are a step-parent in a relationship with the biological mother or father.
This page on Wikipedia gives a good guide to how various Australian states differ in adoption and surrogacy laws regarding gay and lesbian parents.
Ageing happens to all of us. And in our sometimes youth-obsessed gay world that may well be a scary thought.
Who will look after us when we’re old? In NSW there are currently over 70,000 LGBT people over the age of 55. Many older people fear entering the aged care system, having anxieties about some religious organisations’ treatment of gays and lesbians in the past – worrying that they may have to reenter the closet when admitted to elderly care.
And in recent months there’s been a commitment by the government to develop the first ever national strategy for the care of gay, lesbian and transgender people. Minister for Ageing and Mental Health Mark Butler has in recent days announced that $2.5 million will be spent on educating aged care workers about the needs of LGBTI retirees.
“Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex Australians deserve the best possible aged care,” Butler told the Daily Telegraph last week.
As our entire population ages, LGBT aged care will become an increasingly significant issue. Plans are in place to open Australia’s first-ever LGBT retirement village – in Ballan, Victoria, around 35 kilometers east of Ballarat.
“WTF is amyl? Some new Swedish pop-star?” No.
Amyl is short for amyl nitrite, a small chemical compound which is classed as a psychoactive drug. This means that it works on the brain and nervous system to alter your consciousness or perception. It makes your blood vessels to relax and widen, causing blood pressure to drop and give you a feeling of light-headedness. It also acts on involuntary muscles (ones which you can’t consciously control), causing them to relax. For this reason, it is used to relax the anal sphincter to make anal sex easier for guys (or girls) who choose to use it.
It’s mainly inhaled through the nose, and takes a few seconds to kick in, with the effect lasting for a few minutes. It’s usually kept in small brown bottles called ‘poppers’.
Like with all drugs, it’s not intended to be used in this fashion, and is classed as a Prescription Only Medicine, and is thus illegal to be used for any purpose other than that intended by a doctor. The dangers of abusing amyl nitrite include fainting, serious and possibly fatal drop in blood pressure (especially when combined with drugs such as Viagra), rapid heart rate and damage to the nose and throat. It also smells gross!
If you do intend to use amyl, exercise extreme caution and always consider the ramifications of using illicit drugs, in terms of both their effect on your body and also the legal consequences.
Tops or bottoms, starfish or sexperts. Whatever your style, there are some easy ways to make anal sex a fun and enjoyable activity for all involved.
If you’re new to bottoming, remember to take it slow. If you move too quickly it can be painful because your sphincter muscle around your arse isn’t sufficiently relaxed. Start off with a massage to get you comfortable and in the mood. Maybe try a finger first and use plenty of lube. Some guys prefer to sit on their partner’s cock at first so that they can control how quickly it goes in.
You may also like to practice with toys first. There are a range of butt plugs or dildos that you might like to use. Or start off with a finger next time you’re masturbating (use plenty of lube!) Follow these tips and you’ll be ‘power-bottoming’ away, or whatever you choose, in no time!
Condoms and plenty of water or silicon based lube is the best way to protect against contracting STIs during anal sex. Why not come along to one of ACON’s workshops to find out more? There’s the Arse Class, and Adult Themes for younger guys.
Australia is home to one of the world’s best-known androgynous models – Andrej Pejic is a guy who’s comfortable being a guy, but who dresses and passes as female as a fashion model on runways and in fashion shoots across the globe.
The word Androgyny can refer to any combination of male and female traits exhibited on one person. Some androgynous people prefer to have ambiguous gender, and enjoy some flexibility between being simply male or female.
Androgynous people in the public eye challenge gender norms and sometimes find themselves in the centre of controversy. Why are we so scared of boys who look like girls? pondered a Same Same article last year when Pejic was making headlines.
See a video story about Pejic below, and check out a Tumblr page tribute to him here.
Some people are straight, some are gay, some are bisexual, but here’s a newsflash – some folks just don’t get sexually attracted to others.
People who are ‘asexual’ are often told “maybe you just haven’t met the right girl/guy yet?” but it’s just not that simple. But asexual people are just unlikely to look at another person and go “pwroar”, and may experience no sexual attraction in particular. Some have little or no sexual drive at all, but others do, although it’s not directed to other people.
This doesn’t mean asexual people wouldn’t seek out relationships with others. Despite lacking desire for sex, companionship and love can still be important in their lives.
Asexuality is represented by the triangular symbol below, and by the colours black, grey, white and purple together.
Although not specifically about asexuality, Same Same recently featured an opinion piece about how it’s OK to be ‘not that sexual’.
Common abbreviations beginning with ‘A’
AC/DC – Slang for a bisexual person. It’s also an Aussie rock band your dad likes.
ACON – The AIDS Council of NSW. As Australia’s largest GLBT health and HIV/AIDS organisation, ACON working with our communities on issues such as HIV prevention and education and other sexual health issues, alcohol and other drugs, lesbian health, anti-violence, mental health, ageing, community care and advocacy. Find out more about ACON here.
AEA – All Emails Answered
AFAIC – As Far As I’m Concerned
A/G/L, A/S/L – Age/Gender/Location, or Age/Sex/Location
AIDS – Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Sydrome
ATM – At The Moment, or a slang term for a sugardaddy/sugarmummy.
AWOL – Absent With-Out Leave
AYOR – At Your Own Risk
…and not forgetting… ABBA
Thank you for the music! Sweden’s biggest exports (before IKEA came along), ABBA gave us an impressive number of unforgettable pop songs, including Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), Mamma Mia, Ring Ring and Waterloo.
Below, this must surely be one of the biggest gay anthems ever…
This page was co-written by Glen Swinbourne, the team at ACON, and Matt Akersten.